APSI Course Information

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AP ® Biology

Participants of the summer institute will be exploring the AP Biology curriculum with foundation in the 4 Big Ideas and science practices. They will also participate in inquiry labs and alternative lab protocols, and will review the 2017 AP Biology Exam using the standards used at the 2017 AP Biology Reading. Opportunities for participant sharing of best-practices concerning content, lab equipment and procedures and use of technology will be included. Discussion will include equity, access and preparation needed for students and teachers in the AP Biology course.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  • Examine Free-Response Question prompts in light of the course re-design
  • Delve into the rubrics for the AP exam scoring guidelines
  • Evaluate inquiry lab protocols and develop experiments that fit into individual participant’s courses and budgets
  • Determine methods for student recruitment and retention

What to Bring

  • Flash drive
  • Laptop and/or tablet
  • Writing Utensils
  • Calculator
  • Goggles if possible

Consultant

Karen Davis

Karen DavisKaren Davis has been an AP Biology teacher for 20 of her 32 years in education. She currently teaches at Canyon High School in New Braunfels, Texas. She taught in El Paso for 20 years and worked for a year at Region 19 in El Paso with the Mathematics and Science Partnership. She collaborated with the rural school science teachers around El Paso to provide professional development opportunities within the context of the classroom. She has been a member of her current school district’s Teacher Leadership Collaborative, helping to provide quality professional development to the teachers in the district. She has been an AP Biology Reader for the past 6 years. Karen is also a Consultant for National Math and Science and travels to various parts of the United States to present Student Study Sessions for AP Biology students. She is also at Texas AP Advocate, communicating with the Texas Legislature on behalf of AP Biology students and teachers. Karen has been a member of the STAT CAST committee in both El Paso and San Antonio and has been a presenter at NSTA. She has had the honor of being selected as her campus Teacher of the Year, Coach of the Year, and District Finalist for Teacher of the Year.

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AP ® Calculus AB

Calculus AB- Building enduring mathematical understanding requires students to understand the why and how of mathematics in addition to mastering the necessary procedures and skills. To foster this deeper level of learning AP Calculus is designed to develop mathematical knowledge conceptually, guiding students to connect topics and representations and to apply strategies and techniques to accurately solve diverse types of problems. The intent of the AP Calculus institute is to prepare teachers to design their AP Calculus courses, and familiarize them with the reforms which went into effect this year, curriculum materials, and effective teaching strategies. Topics from the current Calculus AB syllabus will be investigated through classroom-tested explorations, activities, and hands-on labs that are suitable for cooperative learning. The TI-Inspire CX graphing calculator will be used to explore, discover, and reinforce the concepts of calculus. This course is targeted for both the beginning and the experienced Calculus teacher. Time will be spent discussing strategies to prepare students for the AP exam. Recent AP Exams will be reviewed and teachers will learn the grading process.

What to Bring

Please bring a copy of your current textbook and if you have taught Calculus previously bring copies of a lesson or activity to share.

Consultant

Nancy Grigassy

Nancy D. Grigassy teaches at Stephen F. Austin High School in Sugar Land, Texas. She has been teaching for over 30 years. She is a member of NCTM and TCTM. She was Austin High School’s first Teacher of the Year in 1995. She has made presentations at the National Conference for Mathematics Teachers, T^3, and the Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics in Texas. She has been a College Board Consultant for the pas t10 years. Nancy is the Chairman of the mathematics department at Austin High School. She teaches PreCalculus PREAP and Calculus AB and Algebra 1.

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AP ® English Language & Composition

Course description

What to Bring

TBA

Consultant

Phil Miller

Phill MillerAs an educator for 26 years, Phil Miller has taught AP English for the last 23 years. He currently teaches English 3AP/IB and serves as the AP lead teacher on the vertical team at Amarillo High School in Amarillo, Texas. Along with his teaching duties he is also the English Department Head and IB Coordinator at Amarillo High.
Phil has been a consultant for the College Board for over 18 years. He also served as a reader for the AP Language exam for six years and has graded IB essay exams.
Mr. Miller graduated from West Texas A&M University with a degree in English/Business. His teaching certification is in English and Political Science.

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AP ® Environmental Science

The unique focus for the week will be the investigation of multidisciplinary nature of the environmental science curriculum through coastal ecology.

Environmental Science is the most multidisciplinary of the AP science subjects.  This workshop will incorporate both lecture and laboratory aspects of the course. Designed for both new and experienced AP Environmental Science instructors, this course will consider the challenges of developing a successful APES program.

Participants will complete a variety of field activities, including an array of useful techniques for analyzing plant and animal populations in coastal ecosystems.  Methods will incorporate both traditional techniques and calculator-based labs.

The most useful websites for APES teachers and students will be investigated thoroughly.

This institute will incorporate significant fieldwork and participants should be prepared for light hiking over short distances.

What to Bring

Camera, binoculars, notebook, insect repellent, sunscreen, walking boots or shoes, shoes that you do not mind getting wet/muddy, and hat for fieldwork.

Consultant

Brian Kaestner

Brian currently teaches AP Environmental Science and AP Human Geography at Saint Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, where he has been on the faculty for 34 years.

In 1993, Brian received the “Special Recognition Award” from College Board and was a TEA state nominee for the “Presidential Awards for Excellence.” In 2000, he received the “Siemens Award for Advanced Placement Teaching.”

With a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Environmental Management, Brian serves with the College Board as an Advanced Placement consultant and as a table leader at the APES reading. He is also the moderator for the College Board APES Community Forum. A veteran of both public (PA) and private (NY, TX) schools, Brian is in his thirty-eighth year teaching and coaching soccer.

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AP ® Government & Politics

Learning Objectives: Advanced Placement Summer Institute for new and experienced teachers is designed to introduce the participants to the requirements established by the College Board for AP Government and Politics and to practice strategies to meet those requirements. Participants will analyze the AP Exam, acquire knowledge and abilities to establish course guidelines and procedures, attain the knowledge for teaching free response writing, practice appropriate strategies for teaching content and adding rigor through problem solving and document analysis.

Day 1: College Board Expectations-

  • What to teach and at what pace-
  • What is rigor?
  • Understanding the multiple choice and free response questions-
  • Set up classroom procedures-
  • Course design and teaching policymaking-

Day 2: Strategies and in-depth lesson design-

  • Interactive Lecture-
  • Paideia Seminar-
  • Document Analysis-
  • Using current events-

Day 3: Writing Workshop-

  • Lesson Examples-
  • Content specifics-
  • Strategies, strategies, strategies-

Day 4: Develop a syllabus to fulfill AP audit requirements-

  • Exam preparation and review procedures-
  • Resources-

What to Bring

  • Textbook that will be used, if available
  • Paper/pen or laptop computer for note-making
  • Post-it notes

Consultant

Yvonne Pittman

Yvonne PittmanYvonne Pittman is a summa cum laude graduate of Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas, with degrees in both political science and history. Mrs. Pittman spent 25 years as a classroom teacher and social studies department chairman in Katy Independent School District in Katy, Texas. She left the classroom to work in administration as the Secondary Social Studies Curriculum Specialist for Katy ISD where she designed curriculum, provided staff development, and promoted various district social studies programs. In addition, as a founding member of the Katy ISD AP Vertical Team, Mrs. Pittman worked to promote increased rigor and vertical alignment of the curriculum in all KISD high schools. She was selected to participate in the Gilder Lehrman Summer Institute at Harvard University in 2008. In 2009, she was one of twelve teachers selected from across the United States to participate in the House of Representatives Fellows Program. She has been a College Board Faculty Consultant since 1999 and was an Exam Reader for nine years. Mrs. Pittman has also been a presenter at the National AP Conference and other national venues on numerous occasions. Since her 2010 retirement, Mrs. Pittman has continued her consulting duties with the College Board, authored an online curriculum guide for the San Jacinto Museum of History in La Porte, Texas and written a children’s book about Montpelier. Her professional affiliations include Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Texas Council of the Social Studies, National Council of the Social Studies, Texas Association of Social Studies Supervisors and Delta Kappa Gamma (International Association of Women Educators).

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AP ® Spanish Language and Culture

This workshop will cover the structure of the AP* Spanish Language and Culture course and exam including culture, authentic materials, theme based instruction and the three modes of communication — interpretive, interpersonal and presentational. We will discuss the curriculum, and successful strategies to teach classes of all sizes, as well as native and non-native speakers. Teachers are expected to actively participate in the workshop and share best practices with the entire group.

Topics include:

  • creative strategies and techniques
  • review of textbooks, the Internet, and authentic materials
  • student skills that need to be reinforced on a regular basis
  • analyzing and reviewing sample tests

What to Bring

Please bring the titles of textbooks and supplementary materials used in class, a lesson or activity that has worked well for you, and a pencil(s) for a class activity.

 

Consultant

Sandra Maciel Franco

Ms. Franco is a retired Spanish teacher, formerly at University High School in Tucson, Arizona. She taught for more than 30 years at the elementary, high school and college levels. She taught AP* Spanish Language for 21 years and AP* Spanish Literature for 18 years; and is currently a consultant for the College Board.* She has earned several awards including the National Society of High School Scholars’ Outstanding Achievement and Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004 and the College Board’s* Exemplary AP* Teacher Award in 2006.

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AP ® US History

This summer institute will focus on the three parts of the new curriculum framework: historical thinking skills, the concept outline, and the thematic learning objectives. We will also focus our attention on the four parts to the AP US History redesigned Test (Multiple Choice, Short Answer, Long Essay and Document Based Question) along with lesson development and best practices (classroom instruction, review sessions, student ownership). We will address the syllabus process and multiple ways throughout the year you can check for understanding. Through the exchange of ideas in discussion and in the study of materials prepared by the College Board for teachers of the redesigned course, participants will consider ways to incorporate all of these parts to create a successful AP US History program at their high school

The goals of the four-day session are to assist participants with [the following are examples]:

  • Understand the new AP U.S. History curriculum framework
  • Understand the new types of questions on the AP exam
  • Experience in preparing for the multiple choice section
  • Developing Short Answer Questions, Long Essays and Document Based Questions
  • Developing methods for teaching historical thinking skills
  • Techniques for completing the course audit
  • Pacing using the new curriculum framework

  Monday

  • Introduction to building a successful AP Program
    • Equity and Access Statement
  • The AP Redesign in a “nutshell”
    • History Thinking Skills
    • Concept Outline
    • 7 Themes     

  Tuesday

  • Review the 2017 AP Test Results
    • Multiple Choice Questions
    • Short Answer Questions
    • Long Essay Questions

  Wednesday

  • Doing the DBQ (The Document Based Question)
  • Review strategies
  • Pacing
  • Museum Trip

  Thursday

  • Building/Revamping a Syllabus
  • Sharing Best Practices
  • Question Development/Group Lesson Planning
  • Equity and Access Statement

What to Bring

  • Personal laptop/tablet (with USB port)
  • Jump drive (most of the material will be posted on a downloadable website)
  • 1 subject notebook or composition notebook
  • Pens, Pencils, Highlighter, and One Dry Erase Marker

Consultant

Michael Hjort

Michael HjortMichael Hjort just finished his 19th year of teaching Social Studies, 13th year teaching AP US History and is in his 8th year as an AP Reader and Table Leader in Louisville, KY reading and scoring the APUSH essays. Michael currently teaches 5 sections of AP US History and is the Social Studies Department Chair at Rouse High School in Leander, TX. He has been a College Board consultant since 2013, presenting one-day conferences, two-day conferences, and one-week AP Summer Institutes. Michael has postponed his 16 year coaching career after leading the Rouse tennis team to a Sweet 16 Finish as a team in the fall 0f 2014 and was named 4A District 25 Coach of the Year. Michael also is the UIL Academic Coordinator at Rouse HS and Social Studies/Current Event Academic Coach (District Champions 2015).

Michael Hjort has been the Gilder Lehrman National History Teacher of the Year Award Nominee (2014 - 2017), 4A District 25 – Fall Varsity Tennis Coach of the Year, HEB Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award Nominee  (2013-2016), Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation Student Teacher Academic Recognition Award Winner (2014 – double nominee and 2012), Coaching Hall of Fame Inductee Tolleson Union HS – Golf (2009), CEAI National Educator of the Year Runner-up (2006), National Honor Roll’s Outstanding American Teacher (2005/2006), Teacher of the Year Tolleson Union HS (1998 – 1999 & 2004 - 05), Who’s Who Among American Teachers (2002, 03, 04, 05) Disney Teacher of the Year nominee (2002 – 2004) West Valley Region Golf Coach of the Year (1997 & 1999), Tolleson HS Excellence in Education Award (1999 – 2004). Michael Hjort has been married to his wife Kristy for 23 years with his oldest child working to become a fire fighter and his daughter just finished her first year at Texas A&M.

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AP ® World History

This course is designed for new and veteran Advance Placement World History teachers. It will cover the requirements of an AP class, tips for organizing the course, and strategies to positively impact student achievement. We will take an in-depth look at the newly redesigned AP test as well as diving into the skills and content students will need to master in order to be successful.

What to Bring

Consultant

Mason Logerot

Mason Logerot has been teaching in the Central Texas area for fourteen years. He has taught middle school US History, Advance Placement US History, AP World History, and AP European History. He also travels around the country as a World History consultant for the College Board and as a trainer for AP Insight. When he is not in the classroom or on the road, you will find Mason playing football in the backyard or camping with his wife, two boys, and black lab.

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Pre-AP ® English – Middle School

During this Pre-AP Middle School English institute, participants will learn, practice, and share effective strategies for guiding adolescent learners to higher-level thinking. We will also discuss how Pre-AP strategies can be used in all classrooms for all students. Participants will have opportunity to share best practices, especially those implementing technology effectively. Mostly, we will discuss the power of language and how we can empower our students with language analysis in both their writing and reading.

What to Bring

Participants may bring a lesson or unit that they have found to be successful in their own classroom, and/or a lesson or unit in which they’d like to integrate more critical thinking strategies.

Consultant

Teresa Tyra

Teresa TyraTeresa Tyra, a 30-year veteran educator, is in her third year as a Literacy Instruction Coach for Moore Public Schools. Ms. Tyra is also an adjunct instructor for the University of Central Oklahoma where she teaches “Adolescent Literacy,” a graduate-level course for future Instruction Coaches. She has taught English in grades seven through eleven, college-level Composition I and II, Survival Reading for College, eighth grade and high school U.S. History, honors Oklahoma History and adult basic education/GED preparation. Ms. Tyra has been a College Board Pre-AP consultant since 2003 and has presented at numerous summer institutes and one- and two-day conferences. She has been a mentor teacher-trainer for the University of Oklahoma College of Education and its K-20 Authentic Teaching and Authentic Learning grant program. She holds a B.S. in Education (language arts and social studies) and a Master’s in Liberal from the University of Oklahoma.

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Pre-AP ® English – High School

This workshop will be geared towards Pre-AP high school teachers, especially in the ninth and tenth grade. We will work on strategies to introduce students to the AP exam and its rigor. Some of the strategies we will consider are TP-CASTT to analyze poetry and the archetypal hero’s journey to analyze novels and short stories. We will look at various ways to introduce style analysis and close reading. We will discuss vertical teams and how they can benefit a Pre-AP program. Diverse literary genres and selections will be presented along with teaching ideas. The workshop will be discussion driven and provide ample opportunities for teachers to collaborate.

What to Bring

 

Consultant

Lisa Baker

Lisa G. Baker teaches at Nancy W. Taylor High School in Wilburton, Oklahoma. She began her teaching career there in 1993. She started the school’s AP program in 1998. She currently teaches AP English Literature and Pre-AP sophomore/freshman English. She has also taught AP English Language and AP Studio Art. She has been a consultant for College Board since 2000, presenting workshops throughout the country over a variety of language arts related topics. She previously served as the moderator for the College Board’s online discussion group for small school AP educators. She served on Oklahoma’s AP advisory council for several years. She became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2002 and recently renewed her certification in 2012. She has co-coached her school’s award winning academic team since 1993, and the team recently won their first state championship. She is the wife of an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper and mother to two beautiful daughters.

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Pre-AP ® Mathematics –Middle School

Course description

What to Bring

TBA

Consultant

Debbie Preston

Bio

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Pre-AP ® Mathematics – High School

Course description

What to Bring

TBA

Consultant

Donna Speer

Bio

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